Erasmus Smith School

Erasmus Smith School
Cahir, Co. Tipperary
Project Value

Deaton Lysaght Architects converted the Erasmus Smith School into Tipperary County Council area offices.  The two-roomed school was erected in 1818, funded by the Erasmus Smith Trust.  Smith was a Cromwellian adventurer who bequeathed his fortune for the furtherance of education.  The school was designed by John Nash (1752-1835), the "architect royal", under the patronage of the Earl of Glengall. 

It served as a school until 1963 and was used since as a sawmill, steelworks, railway museum and warehouse.  When surveyed, the interior had been removed and the building suffered dampness, settlement and defective stonework. 

A tight budget of €1,250,000 was set.  The work was informed by the architect's conservation plan.  Accretions unworthy of retention were removed.  Buttresses were underpinned and re-built, stonework repaired, cleaned and selectively repointed.  Defective roofs were re-slated.  The entrance door was carved from oak, based on a pencil sketch of the original.  A wooden faux stone-mullioned window above the entrance was restored.  

The school now contains the council chamber and offices while a new lightweight extension houses the reception office.  The landscaping comprises a lawn to the front and semi-circular courtyard to the rear.


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